These are good times for almond growers. Demand for the nuts is increasing not only in the United States, but also in some ninety other countries. Prices are high. This year's harvest is expected to generate well over a billion dollars.
But a recent shortage of bees, due mainly to a mite infestation, is a dark cloud hanging over the industry. Bees are required for pollinating orchards
Colleen Aguiar, of the California Almond Board says the recently formed task force is comprised of people from various backgrounds. "Individuals who represent not only almonds, but bees well as research and science to hopefully better understand what the industry is up against in regards to bees."
Some almond growers weren't able to find the recommended number of bees for this pollination season. Many producers had to pay a premium price for the bees that were available.
More bees will be needed in the future because almond acreage is rapidly expanding.